Kenya's tourism ministry says earnings jumped 83% last year as the sector recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism revenue is expected to more than double over the next four years.
A new report from Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism says earnings from the tourism sector increased to more than $2.1 billion last year.
That’s a gigantic leap from the $1.16 billion earned in 2021, when the pandemic was holding down international travel.
The number of international tourists also grew to over 1.4 million, compared to 870,000 in 2021.
Sixteen percent of the visitors last year arrived from America, according to the ministry. About 12% came from Uganda, and 10% came from the United Kingdom.
''Because of the nature of the relationship we have with the U.S. of course, and of course the nature of the numbers, says Peninah Malonza, Kenya's minister of tourism, wildlife and heritage. "If you do proper marketing in any country and if that country has good numbers, looking at the population of the U.S. is quite a large population and this is our traditional market,'' he said.
The impact of COVID-19 in 2020 brought Kenya’s tourism industry to a screeching halt, with more than 2 million people losing their jobs at the time. Most have since returned to work.
The tourism sector accounts for 10.4% of Kenya's economy and 5.5% of formal employment.